Mistake-free Verstappen fastest in Canada

Mistake-free Verstappen fastest in Canada

Mistake-free Verstappen fastest in Canada

"It's positive that Max's pace is good", he added. If the start goes well and we gain a position or two, then I don't think a podium is unrealistic as long as we get the hypers [-soft tyres] to lap whatever it is to still do a one stop.

A day after Verstappen half-jokingly threatened to head-butt anyone who asked him about recent crashes, the Dutchman completed the 4.36km lap in 1 minute, 12.198 seconds.

"We have got the pace in the auto to challenge for pole, but we are not really getting the best out of the hyper-softs", said Mercedes team chief Toto Wolff.

Looming large with the fourth fastest time was Mercedes' championship leader Lewis Hamilton, the victor of the last three races in Montreal who is chasing a record seventh Canadian Grand Prix pole.

Renault introduced a new engine for all six cars in Canada, but Monaco GP victor Ricciardo trailed team-mate Verstappen throughout practice, qualifying and the race.

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If Hamilton is to secure what would be a record seventh pole in Canada on Saturday the Briton will have to squeeze more out an engine that is at the end of its life, running in a seventh race while going against his Red Bull and Ferrari rivals who will have upgraded power units.

"I guess the fight will be with Ferrari, too early to really know, but I'm sure Mercedes will be really fast tomorrow afternoon".

Hockenheim is back this year but the future is uncertain beyond that and local promoters have said they can not continue without a new deal that is free of financial risk to them.

Stroll, in his second season with Williams, posted the 19th fastest time of 1:14.703, outpacing only his Russian teammate Sergey Sirotkin. I feel like we had one run here, one run there to kind of get it right.

"Looking at the results I was actually pretty happy with how qualifying went", Ricciardo said.

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It was here where he won his first grand prix, back in 2007, and it is a venue where he has gone on to triumph a further five times - including a hat-trick for Mercedes (2015, 2016, and 2017).

"Happy with the progress we made today, " Verstappen tweeted. The main thing was to get through the program, which we did.

But after the dreary spectacle in Monaco a fortnight ago, at least we can rely on one of the finest overtakers in the sport fighting his way back through the field to provide the entertainment this weekend.

The session stopped for three minutes after Carlos Sainz's Renault hit a barrier and spun out, then yellow flags came out when Stoffel Vandoorne broke his suspension after his McLaren touched a wall, ending his afternoon.

Read on for a preview of Sunday's showdown as Hamilton seeks to become the first driver to win four Canadian Grands Prix in succession.

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He has raced in the F2 series the last two seasons and now sits 10th in F2 standings after eight races this year, including a third-place finish at Baku, Azerbaijan.

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